HomeKit New Home Construction - Exterior IP Camera options that will work in HomeKit

brownjerod

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 21, 2019
1
0
We are in the process of building a new home and I have been doing lots of research to find the best security cameras to the exterior of our house. Since we are in the construction process we have the ability to run any and all the wires we need, but I want to make sure that our Smart Home is seamless and that everything we do is working well together. We are looking to install 8 exterior cameras on the new house, but want to be able to expand that to up to 12 or so when we build another building on the property in the future.

Ideally we would like a system that we are recording 24/7 and stored on a local home server. I have looked at many IP camera systems but from what I am reading i have not really seen any that would allow to display Video feeds in HomeKit, nor would allow for setting up shortcuts that would work with the cameras.

Here is one scenario that i would like to accomplish, if there was motion detected on an exterior camera in the middle of the night, the triggers would be able to turn on my Apple TV and automatically display the feed on that camera or multiple cameras. \

I would love any feedback from anyone that has info on using IP cameras with HomeKit and any stories that you may have for new construction and planning home security cameras working with HomeKit, even if they are not IP based. We are not sold on an IP camera system but i have not seen any great solutions that work with multi-camera systems with the Logitech, Arlo, and other systems.
 

Itinj24

macrumors 6502a
Nov 8, 2017
793
316
New York
Not many (outdoor) cameras out there compatible with HomeKit. I have had good experiences with the Logitech Circle 2’s (I currently run 20 indoor and outdoor) but not so much with the Arlo’s. Many have reported poor experience with the Logitechs and the ability to view live feeds remotely. I haven’t tried the Netatmo Presence but I’ve seen poor reviews regarding its outdoor compatibly and weather sealing. Logitechs do not store locally but the Arlos and Netatmos do. Apple secure video storage is coming soon but that’s not local from what I understand. Currently, there is no automation you can set up in HomeKit to turn on the Apple TV so I don’t think what you’re trying to accomplish is possible unless it’s offered in a third party Home app and there are a few out there. Shortcuts, maybe with the new automation tab. Apple TV in HomeKit is basically just a play/pause button. There is, however an app called HomeCam (Offers apps for Apple TV, Apple Watch, iPhone iPad) that can display all your feeds onto the big screen but you’d have to enter the app manually from Apple TV. One of the biggest restrictions to HomeKit IMO is the lack of accessories. The Logitechs have a cool day brief feature which shows all your daily activity in 1 minute but I think it only starts recording when there’s activity. You can take any recording from the day and save it to your photos app indefinitely tho. Arlos start recoding when there is a motion detected as well. Pretty sure Netatmo is wired since it has an integrated spotlight but I have no experience with the. Hope this helped some. Good luck with your endeavors.
 

Einz

macrumors 6502
Feb 14, 2008
266
12
Miami

They usually go on sale for $250. Supposed to support HomeKit with firmware update in the future
 

Itinj24

macrumors 6502a
Nov 8, 2017
793
316
New York

They usually go on sale for $250. Supposed to support HomeKit with firmware update in the future
I wouldn’t trust any announcements for HomeKit support until support is fully implemented.

Just ask all the Ring owners

I believe Simplisafe is another company

Arlo announced for end of 1st quarter HomeKit implementation, was finally released last month and is riddled with issues on HomeKit.
 

waw74

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2008
3,232
227
there is a program called homebridge, it's allows non-homekit stuff to show in homekit.
There are plug-ins for a lot of things (my couple year old LG TV for one) as well as TVs and different lighting products. and ones that just do simple web calls.

There are also plugins for cameras, that have worked fairly well for me.
some of the camera plugins are basic, that will let you just point to the video stream URL

I use a unifi camera. They are all PoE, so you just need ethernet.
There is a plugin for those that also adds a motion sensor that's triggered by the camera controller.
you do need a computer (looks like it's windows or linux only, no mac) to run the video controller. That will get all your cameras into a single interface. accessible via web, or their app (iOS or android). the video is stored on that computer.
I believe they also make a hardware controller you can use instead of a computer, looks like it's $2000 though.

side note since you're building a new house... Unifi also makes a bunch of PoE wifi base stations, that you can use around the house, both in the "smoke detector circle on the ceiling" or that will fit in a singe junction box.
since you have the ability to run cables before the walls go up, it's something to think about.


keep in mind, this is all depending on apple not blocking homebridge in the future. I've been using it for close to 4 years.
Homebridge will run on a raspberry pi, but I think video is a bit iffy. It will run on any windows, mac, or linux machine though. (my homebridge, and the video controller run on the same linux box, that also acts as a file server amongst a bunch of other things)

In home kit, you can run automations from motion sensor triggers, you could turn on lights, or your TV to a specific input. But currently you are unable to turn on the aTV or launch any specific app, so displaying you camera on the TV isn't possible using the aTV.
you can also have it send a message to your phone on motion (with the option to disable if you're home)
 
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Einz

macrumors 6502
Feb 14, 2008
266
12
Miami
I wouldn’t trust any announcements for HomeKit support until support is fully implemented.

Just ask all the Ring owners

I believe Simplisafe is another company

Arlo announced for end of 1st quarter HomeKit implementation, was finally released last month and is riddled with issues on HomeKit.
Actually, there is no true HomeKit support until one can view recordings on HomeKit. right now only able to view live on HomeKit. I have a circle 2.

Apple announced eufycam along with logitec on WWDC. I need outdoor wireless cam. If they get good review after their update. I'll probably get them.
 

Itinj24

macrumors 6502a
Nov 8, 2017
793
316
New York
Actually, there is no true HomeKit support until one can view recordings on HomeKit. right now only able to view live on HomeKit. I have a circle 2.

Apple announced eufycam along with logitec on WWDC. I need outdoor wireless cam. If they get good review after their update. I'll probably get them.
Apple hasn’t flicked that switch yet to allow recordings to show in HomeKit but until then the Logitechs are as fully supported as can be at the moment. Other than just viewing live feeds you got 2-way audio and the ability to create automations with the integrated motion sensor. You also get snapshots of the motion detected on the phone and Apple Watch if you have one and you can turn on/off smart lights according to the location of the camera that detected the motion.

I’m not saying Eufy won’t get HomeKit support. All I’m saying is if you require HomeKit support, I would wait until it’s available. Announcements mean absolutely nothing these days. Once again, I’m going to mention Ring and all the customers that got duped with that and how about AirPower.

Also take into account that Eufy is wireless. There will be a longer delay before you get the feed. Won’t be in an always on state like the wired Logitech to preserve battery. I noticed this when I tested the Arlos.

No, I don’t work for Logitech lol. I just like their product and when other companies played games with HomeKit support, they actually delivered.
 

Einz

macrumors 6502
Feb 14, 2008
266
12
Miami
My circle is also wireless too, just wired for the power. I like Circle's daily brief. I hope Apple will do something similar or better.
 

Itinj24

macrumors 6502a
Nov 8, 2017
793
316
New York
My circle is also wireless too, just wired for the power. I like Circle's daily brief. I hope Apple will do something similar or better.
I hope Apple also does something with motion zones.
Did you mod your wireless Circle 2 to work with HomeKit or are you just running off the Logi app?
 

Einz

macrumors 6502
Feb 14, 2008
266
12
Miami
No mod. I can only get live feed in HomeKit. I can use the cam's motion sensor to trigger alerts. Still need app to watch recorded alerts and daily briefs
 

Itinj24

macrumors 6502a
Nov 8, 2017
793
316
New York
No mod. I can only get live feed in HomeKit. I can use the cam's motion sensor to trigger alerts. Still need app to watch recorded alerts and daily briefs
I see. Misunderstood when you said wireless but wired for power.
There’s a mod to make the wireless Logitechs work in HomeKit but with my extensive testing, the battery died between 12 and 18 hours. Solar panel didn’t work either to keep it charged.
 

Itinj24

macrumors 6502a
Nov 8, 2017
793
316
New York